As we move into another year with challenges and setbacks we have to ask ourselves how we can improve? What will you do differently in 2018 to improve your career as a driver? We all can improve in some way whether it be big or small. Does it mean more training to get better at your job? Does it mean being better at organizing your truck so that you are more efficient? Maybe it means getting more comfortable with technology so that you can improve communications with others? It will be different for everyone, but there is always a way to improve.
Here is why you may want to look at improving as a driver. We all know for the most part that drivers don’t make money unless they are rolling down the road and with the implementation of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) efficiency will be even more important. There are many things out of your control as a professional driver such as traffic, weather, and customer delays, which is why it is even more important to be as efficient and professional as you can.
Lets look at something like trip planning with ELDs. With technology everyone can see when you reach your maximum hours of work and you will be forced to shut down at the end of that time wherever you are. You certainly want to maximize those hours and most new drivers will try to figure out how to keep driving right up until the last minute. Is that the most efficient way to operate though? If you plan to work the full 14 hours and something happens you may find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere with an unexpected delay.
A seasoned driver looks for those delays allowing buffer room should something happen. Efficiency may mean having daily goals of reaching certain destinations instead of just driving as long as you can. Much of this type of planning will be determined by the type of trip you are on and the areas you run. So efficiency this way means you run less but take into account all the delays that may hold you up.
Improvements as a driver doesn’t have to be just in trip planning or efficiency it can be in a variety of areas. Maybe you want to improve your education, try to get a better position in the company, learn about becoming an owner operator, or move to another division. Do you hope to get on a dedicated run or operate Long Conventional Vehicles? Having a goal for improvement has to come from within you. Even learning a new language while you drive down the road can improve your runs, expertise in the company, and even propel your career. So set a goal this year to improve in one area and decide how you will improve as a driver this year. I wish you much luck.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com